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A mine site photographer back on the tools

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Mine site photographer.

 

I have been a Professional Photographer for almost 20 years and covered many projects and commissions. I’ve done most things within the industry. However, I have only done a little as a mine site photographer. But, what was my former life like? Well, I have worn many capes before and even wore my undies on the outside of my clothes(Well almost).

The first mine site experience

If you rewind the clock back 20+ years ago, I was plying my trade as a Boilermaker. Yes, that’s right, I was one of those guys that liked to wear leather and do it in all positions. I would weld, gouge, repair and manufacture all things metal. I spent many days away from home on mine sites all over Australia.

A New Career

Then one day, I decided on a change. I didn’t instantly put down the oxy torch and pick up a camera and I definitely did not consider becoming a mine site photographer. That would come a few years later. But it was while sweltering on a remote mine site in the blazing heat, with dust and fumes all around me, that I decided that I needed some kind of change.

Shutdown work

Recently a touch of curiosity got the better of me. A friend (let’s call him that) invited me to join him on a special mission to do a shutdown at a remote mine site in WA’s north. Without much hesitation and with the promise of treasure as a reward, I embarked on the journey.

The journey and the reward

Word probably won’t give a true indication of how much of a mission this was, so I hope that the pictures will give tell the story. It was a month in my life, I will never forget. Forever the social butterfly I made many new friends. It wasn’t quite boilermaking, however, I was able to lean on a few old tricks. Plus I learned a whole lot of new ones too.

So get make yourself comfortable. Sit back in your favourite chair with a bowl of ice cream and enjoy the show. My latest crazy adventure.

Documentary of a mine site photographer

mine worker preparing to don acid suit before the job commences

A Mine site photographer captures mine workers

Mine workers scoping out the job

Michael and Alex’s California Wedding

Traveling from Australia to photograph the California Wedding of Michael and Alex

In July, we were privileged to travel to the USA to photograph the California Wedding of Michael and Alex. So we have an Australian photographing the California wedding of a young beautiful couple who are studying and living in Utah. What an amazing day this was and the Wedding album has a unique blend to it.

The first look

A few days before the Wedding ceremony, we decided to do a “first look’ preview session. The first look can be very special. It is when the Bride and Groom meet privately before their actual ceremony. On this occasion, the groom Michael covered his eyes in an apple orchard in Vacaville, California. The Bride Alex gently tip-toed down to Michael and when the time was right tapped him on the shoulder and had him spin around to see his Bride to be in all her glory for the first time.

Shooting a California Wedding

This is the first time that I had photographed a California Wedding. And after 1 month of traveling in the United States, there were a couple of things that I noticed. The first thing is that the light in a Californian summer stays up really late. This means that golden hour was around 8pm. The other thing I noticed with the light is that there isn’t many sunrises due to the fog. It would get light early but would be overcast until 11am.  When shooting a California wedding it’s important to also allow adequate time for the photographs and allow for all the factors.

Travel time for a California Wedding

One of the biggest factors in photographing a California Wedding is travel time. This is largely affected by the huge amount of traffic. Michael and Alex stay with their family in Vacaville, California. They were married in the Oakland LDS temple. Travel time to the temple was about an hour and a half and that was in normal traffic. Any hitches in the traffic flow could add a very lengthy delay to the travel time. As the reception was back in Vacaville, it meant that we were in the car no less than 3 hours on the Wedding day. This was one of the reasons we did a “first look” preview session and Bridal shoot on a separate day.

The stunning Oakland temple – California Wedding

Bridal couple walking in a open field in Vacaville California

Michael and Alex walking in a open field in Vacaville California

Black and white photograph of Groom with Wedding rings

Groom prepare wedding rings for the Wedding ceremony

California first look in an apple orchard

Michael and Alex – the first look

Bridal couple in the sunflowers of california

Bridal couple in the sunflowers

Oakland LDS temple wedding

Wedding photos at the Oakland LDS temple in the evening

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Evening wedding photo at Oakland LDS Temple The stunning Oakland temple – California Wedding

California Wedding

Micahel and Alex’s California Wedding

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Aaron & Vanessa’s Wedding album

The Wedding album of Aaron & Vanessa Petaia

This Wedding album is the story of two very wonderful people. Vanessa is  Filipino and Aaron is Samoan. She is Catholic and he is Mormon. Luckily they have a love of travelling in common. They are currently on their honeymoon, travelling through the Caribean and USA. When they return they will get to relive their amazing wedding day.

The 8th of April was a beautiful Autumn Friday in Melbourne. Aaron and his groomsmen prepared themselves for the Wedding at Hoppers Crossing while 10 minutes away Vanessa and her bridesmaids and her family were getting themselves ready for this momentous occasion.

The ceremony was in a lovely little catholic church and was conducted by the wonderful Father Paul. Family photographs were swift and to the point. This was a bonus considering the large contingent of family members from both sides travelling from many parts of the globe.

With the sun appearing and providing warm radiant light we set off for a series of bridal party photographs in Williamstown. The botanical gardens proved to be a great place to start things off. Our next location was the foreshore in Williamstown which provided a beautiful backdrop of Melbourne city. There was one more location on the way to the reception in Richmond, and that was along the winding South Yarra banks. As the light dimmed down we squeezed in one last set of wedding portraits of the bride & groom.

The reception was beautiful celebration embracing the coming together of 2 cultures. The lavish venue was finely decorated and the music from the live band was exceptional. Later  during the night, Aaron showed us his talent in singing by joining the band on stage. Confidently he took the mic and in perfect key sang a cover of  “My Girl” to his stunning new bride. His young nephews and cousins brought the house down with their synchronised dance moves, and even Vanessa joined in on the party.

As the night proceeded so to did the formalities. Parents of the bride and groom spoke highly of their children’s achievements and toasted them their best wishes during the speeches. This was followed by some heartfelt speeches from several members of the bridal party. Aaron capped off a memorable night with a beautiful speech and a tribute to some beautiful women in his life including his mother and his new wife.

A rush of blood erupted on the dance floor as bachelors and single ladies lined up for the traditional garter toss and the throwing of the bouquet. There is only ever one winner in these contests, and it was obvious who was after the mantle of the next Mr & Mr’s. Aaron and Vanessa celebrated their first dance as a husband and wife. This was followed by a traditional Samoan custom, with family dancing with the bride and groom and launching money at them.

The night quickly came to an end and it was time for the wedding couple to depart. They did this in fine style with a boat picking them up from the jetty at the bottom of their reception centre. As they walked down the stairs, their dear family and friends lit sparkler to guide them on the way out. And so ended the Petaia Wedding in Melbourne.

For me as the professional photographer, it was a big week. I had flown over from Perth a few days earlier to prepare for this beautiful wedding. A couple of days had been spent scouting out locations and meeting the bride and groom to be. Plans and timelines had to be finalised gear to prepare. After the Wedding, I was able to travel to Mount Gambier to attend to some other business. This included some glorious sight seeing along the way, stopping at the 12 apostles and several other magnificent sightings in rural Victoria.

The images for this Wedding album were photographed on the trusty Canon 5D Mk3. A variety of lenses were using including wide angle, prime and telephoto. Images were created using a combination of natural light and off camera flash. Images were processed in Camera raw/Photoshop and the album custom designed using Indesign.

Aaron and Vanessa have chosen one of our popular and contemporary “LifeArt” series for their Wedding album. This style of Wedding album is printed on archival photographic paper and flush mounted for a sleek and modern style. ‘The LifeArt’ Wedding album comes with a minimum 20 sides included as standard. As we photographed so many gorgeous images from the day, the lucky bride and groom will have over 70 sides to choose from to fill their wedding album. A complete “LifeArt album for our clients can contain anywhere from 20-80 sides. In larger wedding where more than 80 sides are available, our clients can consider adding a complete 2nd volume wedding album to compliment their main volume.

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Bunbury Family Photography

Bunbury Family Photography – Incredible session prices

Bunbury family photography sessions are available for south west families. Do you live in the Bunbury region and are you looking at getting that next special family portrait on the wall?

Book your 2015 family portrait with one of Western Australia’s most prolific and evolving family portrait photography studios.

Dezire Studios is renowned for their high quality presentations and family photograph collections.Your family portraits are not just pictures; they are a story of life, love and laughter.

 South West home

For many years Dezire Studios was primarily based in Bunbury and serviced the South West region of Western Australia. Each year we offer a little something back to our old South West home.

Portrait photography sessions are normally an hour-and-a-half adventure. They are a very intimate and special experience. Your portrait will be candid and natural and will capture your lifestyle and personality.

Let Western Australia’s premier on location portrait specialist tell your story with a set of beautiful family photographs that you will treasure for your family heritage.

Big Promotion

As a special for Bunbury and surrounding areas, Dezire Studios will be running a special promotion in the beautiful month of April.

Family Portrait session fees will only be $50 (a huge saving from the standard $175 fee). Plus families will receive 30% of our wall print range. Your only commitment is the purchase of either a wall print or family lifestyle album

Book Now

The session fee includes an on location family portrait session and a same week viewing session to choose images for your wall.

Family portrait sessions will be held between the 15th – 17th April 2015. There are 5 sessions available only so book now to avoid disappointment.

 

bunbury family photography

 

 

 

 

pinnacles photography workshop

Pinnacles photography workshop.

Much more than just a Pinnacles photography workshop, this extended day tour is packed with locations to shoot at all day.

Our first stop for the day is Wedge Island, famous for it’s Cray fishing, tin shacks and pristine beaches. We then head up the coast to Jurien Bay for lunch and some time to shoot in and around Jurien. Next stop is an afternoon shoot at the Pinnacles with plenty of time to explore and shoot. Then to top it all off we will travel south to a large section of sand dunes for a stunning dunes at sunset session.

A follow-up critique session will be held on a separate night for the group to share their images and learn from each other.

Workshop details:

limited to 20 places only

Saturday 16 May 8.00am – 7.30pm (day tour)

Thursday 19 May 7.00pm – 9.30pm (critique session)

For booking click here

Note: Tour cost includes return travel to and from Ellenbrook, morning and afternoon tea, photography tuition and Pinnacles National Park admission fees. Lunch will be at participants expense.

Each Wild Light Photography Tour is prepared and accompanied by multi award winning travel and documentary photographer Brook Desmond and multi award winning landscape photographer Paul Dowe. Their knowledge and experience will be shared and they will both be at your disposal on each tour or workshop and is followed up with a critique session.

Pinnacles photography workshop

PENGUIN ISLAND ADVENTURE

PENGUIN ISLAND ADVENTURE

Come join us on a Penguin island adventure. Its the perfect Photography course for beginners and advanced photographic enthusiasts looking at extending their photography skills and playing with their new digital cameras

penguin islandExplore the unique island setting of Penguin Island. This tour is for the early riser, and includes an exclusive session on the island from 6.30 – 9.00am for shooting the sunrise and exploring the unique habitat on the island.

Included is a penguin feeding session and unlimited trips to and from the island for the day. Brook and Paul will be on hand to assist and instruct one on one throughout the morning.

A follow-up critique session will be held on a separate night for the group to share their images and learn from each other.

Workshop details:

Saturday 11 April 6.15am – 10.30am (photo walk)

Thursday 16 April 7.00pm – 9.30pm (critique session)

For booking click here

Each Wild Light Photography Tour is prepared and accompanied by multi award winning travel and documentary photographer Brook Desmond and multi award winning landscape photographer Paul Dowe. Their knowledge and experience will be shared and they will both be at your disposal on each tour or workshop and is followed up with a critique session.

The good in closing remote communities?

The good in closing remote communities?

What good is there in the West Australian government closing remote communities? Absolutely none!! Closing remote communities is wrong.

What I have come to believe, through my experiences, as a professional travel photographer is that culture is important and difference is ok. My journey through remote communities in outback Australia is no exception.

Photography in remote communities

I’ve got to admit, I have witnessed some wonderful things. I love photography, and I love documenting events and occasions. My lens and camera sensor are the tools that allow me to document and illustrate people’s life stories.

For the most part my camera is used to photograph couples getting married or families having portraits taken for their family history. But often I find myself telling the story of everyday people and their every day life.

 

Remote communities

Turtle hunters search for food in remote communites

 

 

Protesting the foreclosure

In light of this week’s protests against the foreclosure of remote communities, I have decided to share a series of experiences that have led me to personally believe that this is a terrible mistake.

I want to share more of my stories and experiences from my time living in remote communities. I was fortunate enough to document with my camera the lifestyles of these amazing people and this amazing culture that we are still privileged to see living here in Australia.

Photography Exhibition

The photographs I was able to produce from this exploration were exhibited as a body of work at the Australian Professional Photography awards. The reception for the exhibited portfolio was overwhelming. The series of images and photographs were judged and awarded national runner-up photographic album of the year.

Remote communities

Closing remote communities destroys the oldest living culture

 

Living off the land

For 9 weeks we lived in one of these remote communities in Arnhem Land Northern Territory, which is very similar to the remote communities being closed in Western Australia . Ramingining is about 8 hours from Darwin.

This was a rich and memorable experience for our family, one that we will treasure for many years to come. For me personally it was exposure to the oldest living culture.

My family and I arrived in this remote community with many life experiences. We had previously travelled to countries all over the world and had spent 7 months exploring outback Australia, living in our camper trailer.

Nothing could prepare us for the once in a lifetime experience of living with Yolngu people in East Arnhem Land.

Although we came as complete strangers to this community we were warmly welcomed. The first thing we noticed is that things were different. Remote communities operate completely differently from the mainstream living conditions we had ever lived in or visited.

Was this a bad thing? NO, certainly not! And yes, there were things that we were not prepared for at all.

Remote communities

Families living on remote communities have much to teach modern culture about resourcefulness and hard work

 

Cultural differences

My personal curiosity really set in and I became determined to discover more about this land and the people that dwelt here. One of the first things we noticed is that our languages were different. However, rather than me making efforts to communicate in their language while in their land, the people graciously made efforts to speak to me in English.

From this point on I made an effort to try to learn some of the basics of their language, and I wanted to experience living the way they did. Of course, I know I wouldn’t be able to fully accomplish this during my short stay, but I wanted to make an authentic and genuine effort towards it.

The more effort I made, the more receptive the people became to me. They were already so happy, friendly and kind, but now they viewed this as an effort to educate me on their culture and their way of living.

Nothing wasted, Nothing taken for granted.

Within the first few days I gained an appreciation for their culture and lifestyle. Here, I discovered a community that were truly grateful for every breath of life they had. Nothing was taken for granted.

Just like my city suburban community, there were problems, some similar and some different. But what was completely different was the people of these remote communities live for life, they all contributed in some way to their family, people and community. They were resourceful and showed gratitude. Gratitude for their land, for their food and for life in general.

Another stolen generation

Why is this radical step being taken in this day and age and with all these years of disastrous failed policies as evidence? What good do we think we are doing for these people in the remote communities? What other problems are we going to open ourselves up for in the future when hindsight proves these policies to be a failure again?

After all, isn’t it owed to the people of these remote communities that they can abide in their original lands according to their tradition, as their forefathers have?

If we refuse to call it an invasion over 200 years ago, what do we call this now?

One thing is for sure, I know that the people making these decisions have never set foot in these remote communities personally. And if they have, their eyes were blindfolded so they have yet to experience the rich and rewarding experience that can await them. No one who has experienced this would ever dream of closing these communities down.

Award winning professional photographer

Breaking news Brook Desmond becomes Award winning professional photographer.

28th April 2013 – Brook has recently become an award winning professional photographer at the WAPPA’s (Western Australian Professional Photography Awards. Earlier this Month at the state Professional Photography awards, Brook tasted sweet success for the studio by collection a handful of prestigious photography awards.

The Photography awards – The awards are part of the Australian Institute of Professional photographers annual calendar and include entries from all professional photographers all over WA including regional and internationally residing photographers.

The West Australian Professional Photography awards is open only to practicing professional photographers who attain the highest standard of work and maintain ethical business standards and moral conduct (see the award winning entries here).

The judging process – The intense judging process was completed over a week long process with acclaimed national and international judges carefully selecting the winning images. Success was tasted early in the week, with Brook awarded 2 silvers for his wedding prints, 1 silver for his family portraiture print, and 2 silvers  and 1 gold for his travel prints .  He was also awarded a silver for his wedding album.

Winners announced – As the week concluded the Australian professional photography institute hosted an overall awards night where Brook revived awards for best overall print in travel, runner up travel photographer of the year, runner up Wedding album of the year and was then awarded the John Whitfield King memorial award which is the highest and most prestigious individual award for a professional photographer for excellence in portraiture. This award was given for a depiction of indigenous youth playing in the dream-time dusts of an Arnhem Land community. To see all of Brooks winning entries click this link

Exhibitions – This image will feature in an exhibition later in the year in which Brook documents the life of the Yolgnu people in a remote indigenous community in coastal Arnhem Land.
Brook is planning a full traveling exhibition from his travel images and teamed up with his associate Paul are running photography workshops in Western Australia and Bali later this year.
Award Winning travel print, award winning professional photographer

Winner of the John-Whitfield King memorial award for excellence in Portraiture

Africa – for the Wildlife photographers in you

Africa – for the Wildlife photographers in you

The Call for the Wildlife Photographers is out. Are you joining us on our next African Photographic Safari? Join myself and fellow Professional Photographer Paul Dowe ( http://www.pauldowe.com.au/) as we team up to bring you WILD LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS on our next Safari to the Africa. If you are interested in Photography or adventure or believe you take a decent photograph then you must be part of our next group in July this year. We promise the most amazing experience and guarantee you will come back with some amazing wildlife photography and a whole lot more. Plus your Photography skills will increase off the scale. Learn from two of the best Professional Photographers currently in the game with over 40 years experience and get your hands on some real cameras and lenses that will not let you down. Keep in touch as we post some amazing images from our last adventure to this amazing frontier and keep an eye out for the latest workshops and tours from WILD LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS.

Wildlife Photographers

Our last group of Wildlife Photographers

Safarians2

Living off the land – Arnhem land photographic adventures

Arnhem land photographic adventures

I’m grateful for the experiences I have and the photographic adventures that I’m apart of. Often the work I do as a photographer opens the door to see and partake in a world we don’t often see. It is during these experiences that I gain a great understanding for the way in which different cultures and peoples live. My mind is further enlightened, my respect for others increases and my understanding of others develops. I really love and search for opportunities to abide with and document people in their own way of life and environment.

On this occasion I was invited to a remote Indigenous community in Far East Arnhem Land. The community called Ramingining is very isolated from everything. The closest city Darwin is over 600km away on rough rugged roads and is inaccessible by vehicle during the heavy raining wet seasons, where roads become impassable. The community has approximately 800 people living in and around the area, many of the people have no knowledge of life outside of the community, yet they live in a loving and welcoming place.

To get to this place far from easy. Not only do you have to live in a different standard of living, but you must also gain permission and grants from the elders of the community. I was lucky enough to do this and take with me my family. In the end we spent a good 6 weeks there and gained a wealth of experiences we could not even imagine. This was a fantastic opportunity for me, and especially my children to learn a different way of lifestyle and interact with people of a totally different culture.

On arriving I discovered that there was little in the way of supplies. There is a tiny shop that stocks food and every day living items from Darwin. They are brought in by a Barge via the ocean and waterways and come in every 2 weeks, so taking careful stock take of what you have is essential. Having our 8-month-old baby with us did catch us out. There simply wasn’t a way of just going down to the local shops for his supplies of baby food and nappies. We actually did get caught short, and luckily enough a surprise flight to the mainland allowed us to stock up on the things we needed.

For the majority of the time we discovered that for every day living it was easier and way more fun to hunt and gather our food. Thanks to our friends and the loving hospitality of the local people we were taken to the best places to find our every day food supplies of mud crab, barramundi, magpie geese, buffalo and turtle. Each day we set off on an amazing adventure to catch what we wanted to eat and at the same time become educated on how to accomplice this.

I remember vividly my 6-year-old son learning how to make spears from scratch using stones and trees. In saying this we preferred using the trusty shotgun and fishing rods for most hunts, although we did also use sticks and made hooks for catching turtles and mud crabs.

The local people became very friendly with us and shared with us many things. As we opened ourselves up to their way of life, they began to share more and more, and our kids began to catch on to the basics of their native language. At times I wondered if I could teach the people more about my modern lifestyle and way of doing things. When reflecting on it I thought maybe their way is primitive and needs some serious upgrading, however when comparing simply ways of life I discovered sometimes our way of living in the western European way can seem primitive or complex anyway.

In the community when hungry we would go shoot some geese, pluck them, start a fire, cook the food, eat then relax. This became a very simple exercise in comparison to spending a few hours down the grocery store, time preparing the meal, setting up the table, eating and then more time doing dishes. Sometimes it just seemed easier to do away with some of those steps and seemed much easier and less complicated.

I found the food although prepared and presented a little differently to be delicious and wholesome, and of course the whole adventure of hunting for it ourselves was amazing. There are many stories that I will tell about what we did there and how we did it, but for now I will leave this blog post here by saying it was an amazing experience like none other.

If you have heard of Yolngu people that was where we were and this is where the film 10 Canoes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Canoes was filmed see the trailer here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Vzf9BAVGZc. For info on where we were and who we were with visit this site http://www.yolnguboy.com/directory/htm/frameset3.htm

 

The Journey Part 1 – Photographing India

photographing India

The Journey Part 1 –  Photographing India

The image I share today is from 2010 while I was photographing India. I was travelling with family back to my mother’s homeland on a family heritage trip. During our stay there we were exposed to the hardships so many from that country experience. I would walk the streets daily absorbing the culture and challenges the local people faced. My heart was full of compassion for the many wonderful people I saw that had far less than I’d ever had to make do with. As I walked, I saw children in age similar to mine walking the streets, begging so that they could survive. I saw industrious hard working people looking for any opportunity to make ends meet. It made me appreciate the wonderful circumstances that I lived in and the great opportunities I could provide for my children. For me personally photographing India was a great joy and a massive challenge. There were many cultural barriers to overcome and the weather was just so hot and muggy too, which is so wonderful for photography.

A Beggar woman in Chennai

This particular image I captured of a local Chennai woman who was waiting outside one of the very few Christian churches, begging. I photographed her as she approached us. I noticed that she sat at the steps of the small cathedral and that many people had passed her by. I noticed her partially deformed and swollen leg, her frail arms outstretched, her body slouched over. Her sad, wrinkled face told me a story of harsh life and sorrow. I could not communicate with her in her language, but I gave her a small offering to help her and in the most beautiful way she smiled and showed her appreciation. My heart beamed in delight, that I could help in a small way another of God’s children. In that instant I forgot the long strenuous drive we were on and the humid sticky weather that I was finding almost unbearable. I began feeling peace and joy for loving someone else. I never saw her again, but this image and my emotions from our encounter remind forever how grateful I need to be for what I have.

My heart became so fond of this experience and the others that I had on this journey photographing India. I have become attracted to this country and its spiritual power, its amazing cultural diversity and the beautiful buildings and monuments along the way. I have teamed up with my good friends and fellow award winning professional landscape photographer Paul Dowe from Paul Dowe Galleries to take others seeking these experiences and adventures, helping other photographers to use the power of their camera to document the journey of life. Our Wild Light Photographic tours are more than just the average photographic tours, they are a journey – an exploration a life experience not to miss. One that we will be advertising and promoting soon will be a wonderful tour photographing India.

 

Photography journey

 

Travel Photography

Travelling the long road in African on an amazing Journey

Let me take you on a Photography journey. I have promised on my facebook page  that I will showcase some powerful images I have documented from my photography journey. This is part one of an ongoing series of images and stories that I will publish.

How can photography be so powerful? How can photographs take us on a journey? Why do images make us feel and do certain things? Professional Photographers and advertising companies have been studying this for so long and tried many techniques to portray a message to us, the viewer. For many years now I have worked as a Professional Photographer, capturing and creating images that illustrate stories and promote a message.

I have photographed the candid events of the bride and groom’s wedding day; the love and laughter from a family portrait session; followed the brief of the art designer for a magazine. Image-making with my camera has played many different roles and taken me on a wonderful journey. In my travels I have witnessed and captured many profound and amazing stories. Today I would like to start by sharing some of the things that my eye has beheld and my camera captured.

I recently presented a portfolio of images that I documented all over the world to a group of my peers and fellow professional photographers. I shared with them a group of powerful and personal images that have helped me put my life’s challenges into perspective. These images have helped me remain grateful for the wonderful blessings that I have in my life. I will be shortly sharing the first image from that series.